ARTIST STATEMENT: I love stories that describe the beginning of life and the creation of the world, both religious and scientific. We are always searching for ways to describe how we came into being. It is why, through painting, drawing and performance, I play with different evolutionary scenarios. I consider the tension between the overlapping histories of various creatures. In dreams, we can fly over mountains and be consumed within ocean currents. I am fascinated by the capacity of our bodies to evolve and change, by what may have altered our evolutionary path, and by what the future holds. I worry about how our fast, modern lives have the capacity to change and destroy so much including the very environment that sustains us. In my performance, working with dancers, choreographers, and musicians, I use post consumer waste, particularly plastic, to explore how we are becoming the very materials we discard through the water we drink and the air we breathe. I paint live for the audience, behind a large, back-lit piece of paper or fabric while the dancers perform. The dancers illuminate the human body’s uncanny resemblance to our planet’s diverse inhabitants. Various movements mimic different types of plants and animals. But they also show creatures at a turning point in evolution, where anything goes in a race to survive within a quickly changing world.
My inky drawings, both tiny and large, layer pastel over watercolor. They show the sinewy, interconnected web of related life forms and how they transform and consume each other through time. I often etch directly into my painting surfaces incorporating the fragile yet intimate quality of line. My paintings show a bulbous and stringy interaction of different shapes and colors as I examine how the most tiny cellular life may be altered permanently by our all consuming lives. My work seeks to question the paths we have taken thus far, and the paths we may choose in our spiral of wonderment and estrangement with the natural world.
Please visit www.sarah-olson.com for more.